Birmingham is the second-most-populated city in the UK, behind London. It is a major international commercial city and has numerous arts and cultural centres, including theatres, exhibition centres and a symphony hall. The shopping is second to none and there are plenty of places to stay for visitors.
With the newly rebuilt Bullring Centre as well as The Mailbox in the city centre, you would be hard pushed to think of anything you couldn't get here. The Bullring is home to all the usual major high-street chains, with around 160 shops and one of the best Selfridges outside of London.
The Mailbox, just a short walking distance from The Bullring and near the rear exit of Birmingham New Street Station, is home to the designer stores and as well as some rather nice restaurants. Here you will find Harvey Nichols, Emporio Armani and Hugo Boss.
If you are looking to visit Birmingham and need somewhere to stay, then The Mailbox may have just what you are looking for. Malmaison is located at the front of the complex and offers a relaxing place to stay in some very nice surroundings. Towards the back of the complex, overlooking the Canal and amidst trendy bars and restaurants, you will find the Ramada.
The city and surrounding areas offer a great deal in the way of accommodation, including all the major budget hotels such as Travelodge, Premier Inn and Ibis. Other Birmingham hotels include the Hilton, Holiday Inn and Radisson brands as well the luxurious Hotel du Vin.
If you are planning a longer stay or perhaps prefer your independence and privacy, why not consider one of the many self-catering or service apartments?
Birmingham is a great city and has many attractions. Birmingham hotels can offer a great base for those wanting to explore the Midlands, including Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Alternatively, some of the smaller towns on the outskirts offer some great B&B options.
No trip to Birmingham is complete without a trip to Cadbury World. See how your favourite Cadbury treats are made before getting access to the Cadbury World shop. This is an incredibly popular attraction, as you might expect.
The city and surrounding areas have a great number of historical sites and as such hotels in Birmingham offer any number of wonderful days out. The stunning medieval Warwick Castle is one such attraction, complete with dungeons, towers and ramparts.
There are also a number of cathedrals, including the one in Birmingham itself but also those in the nearby historic cities of Coventry and Worcester.
Other nearby attractions include the Air Museum in Cosford, near Wolverhampton. Dudley is also popular, particularly with those who didn't get enough retail therapy in the city centre. People come from miles around to shop until they drop in the Merry Hill Shopping Centre.
Many visitors find themselves in Birmingham when they come for events or concerts at the National Indoor Area (NIA) or the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). Why not make a weekend of it and book yourself into one of the many great hotels and see the city while you're there?
Top five attractions
National Paintball Fields
This 200-acre movie-themed adventure park offers thrilling experiences of jungle warfare, alien invasions and Wild West shootouts to get your adrenaline pumping.
Twycross Zoo - The World Primate Centre
Meet cheeky chimps, lazy sloths, leopards, elephants and numerous other animals at Twycross Zoo. With daily events such as the penguin parade and the 'meet the dinos' tour, all the family are guaranteed a great day out.
The Black Country Living Museum
Step back in time as costumed characters greet you at this outdoor museum. Experience a bygone era as you ride in a tram, explore an underground coalmine and visit a traditional fairground.
Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum
Showcasing more than 200 hands-on displays, a digital planetarium and outdoor science garden, prepare to be amazed at Birmingham's Thinktank Science Museum.
National SEA LIFE Centre
Discover life under the sea at this fantastic family attraction where you can spot creatures of the deep such as sharks, rays and starfish. Enjoy the underwater tunnel and take a trip to the interactive rockpool.
BASS Festival; June; events across the city: Birmingham's independent BASS Festival (British arts and street sounds) is a celebration of black and urban music and culture. It is held at a variety of venues across the city and draws thousands of visitors each year.
Brindleyplace Dragon Boat Race; June; Fazeley Canal: This fundraising event takes place on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal with competitors sweating it out as they try to be the first to make to the finish line in traditional Chinese longboats.
Birmingham Chilli Festival; July; Brindleyplace: Enjoy a hot and fiery day out at Birmingham Chilli Festival. The celebration of the humble spice will involve stalls selling chilli-related produce, cookery demonstrations, street entertainment and live music.
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